Texas Board of Nurse Examiners

The Texas Board of Nursing continues to use tactics which arguably violate and abuse the due process protections guaranteed Texas nurses under the Federal and Texas State Constitutions. The Board’s tactics can put your employment and reputation in jeopardy without any opportunity to defend yourself.

 

This abuse occurs through the Board’s filing of formal

Over the last two weeks our law firm overturned two default revocations entered by the Texas Board of Nursing’s Eligibility & Disciplinary Committee (E&D) from their meeting on February 12, 2009 wherein they revoked over twenty Nursing licenses. The two nurses represented by us has been denied due process and had essentially had their property interest in

I often receive calls from nursing students, or even those only considering pursuing a nursing degree, with questions concerning whether or not they will be licensed by the Board of Nursing. Typically, these individuals have a criminal record, history of misuse of controlled substances, or a mental health diagnosis that they fear will present

According to the Texas Board of Nursing’s Administrative Rules any nurse who has a diagnosis of chemical dependency or who otherwise has a history of abuse of controlled substances must demonstrate through “objective, verifiable evidence” that they have been sober for the past twelve months before they can be allowed to continue practicing licensed

Effective September 1, 2008, a passing grade on the Nursing Jurisprudence Exam will be required by the Texas Board of Nursing for of all applicants for initial licensure. Under the terms of a recent amendment to Board Rule § 217.17, initial licensure applicants will be tested regarding their knowledge of:

"board statutes, rules, position

All nurses who have been convicted or pled guilty or no contest to certain felony offenses should be aware that under a recent addition to the Nursing Practice Act, the Texas Nursing Board holds expanded authority to impose tough sanctions. Already a serious matter, an initial conviction for these offenses now carries additional consequences including mandatory revocation under certain conditions.

Chapter 301.4535 of the Texas Nursing Practice Act states that the Texas Board of Nursing must suspend or refuse to initially license any nurse / applicant who has been initially convicted of:

  • Murder under § 19.02, capital murder under § 19.03, or manslaughter under § 19.04 of the Texas Penal Code;
  • Kidnapping or unlawful restraint under § 20 of the Penal Code, when the offense was punished as a felony or state jail felony;
  • Sexual Assault under § 22.011 of the Penal Code;
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault under § 22.021
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children under § 21.02, or indecency with a child under § 21.11 of the Penal Code;
  • Aggravated Assault under Section 22.021 of the Penal Code:
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly injuring a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual under § 22.04 of the Penal Code;
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly abandoning or endangering a child under § 22.041 of the Penal Code;
  • Aiding suicide under § 22.08 when the offense was punished as a state jail felony;
  • An offense under § 25.07 of the Penal Code that was punished as a felony;
  • An offense under § 25.071 of the Penal Code that was punished as a felony;
  • An agreement to abduct a child from custody under § 25.031 of the Penal Code;
  • The sale or purchase of a child under § 25.08 of the Penal Code;
  • Robbery under § 29.02 of the Penal Code;
  • Aggravated Robbery under § 29.03 of the Penal Code;
  • An offense for which a defendant is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure; or
  • An offense under the law of another state, federal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense listed in this subsection.

Note that the statute’s coverage includes licensees who have been convicted or pled guilty to one of the above offenses and who are then sentenced to deferred adjudication, community supervision, or probation. The basic message of §301.4535 is that the Board must and will automatically suspend an active license or refuse to initially license a nurse who has been initially convicted of one of the above specified offenses.

Over the objections of the Nursing Board, my law firm has successfully argued before the State Office of Administrative Hearings that when read in conjunction with the rest of the Nursing Practice Act, the Board’s own rules, and the Texas Occupations Code, § 301.4535 authorizes the Board to issue a stayed suspension as well as an enforced suspension. The former allows a licensee to continue practicing as a nurse while the latter does not. However, in order to effectively show that they qualify for a stayed order, a nurse will almost certainly need to present evidence and argument at an official hearing as to why, given the circumstances of their case, a stayed suspension would be appropriate. This involves the gathering and presentation of remedial evidence, possibly before an Administrative Law Judge in a trial-like setting. The eye of an experienced attorney is often able to pick out the kinds of beneficial remedial evidence which a layperson will miss. Further, a nurse’s right to such a hearing is contingent on their making a timely request for it. To ensure that you meet this deadline, consultation with an attorney may be advisable.


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Despite the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure’s clear admonishment that a person’s successfully completed Deferred Disposition (available for Class C offenses in Municipal and Justice Courts only) cannot be used against them, the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners and Texas Medical Board continue to use such a record as a basis for disciplinary investigations and